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Rewind: Jaguars 45, Pittsburgh Steelers 42


JACKSONVILLE – The NFL is offering fans free access to its Game Pass platform, making any game available dating to 2009. In this story, we highlight a 2017 AFC Divisional Playoff victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The teams: Jaguars versus Pittsburgh Steelers.

The date: January 14, 2018.

The site: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pa.

The setup: The Jaguars were seeking their first appearance in the AFC Championship Game in 18 years, and the Steelers were looking to set up a rematch of the previous year's title game – which they lost to the New England Patriots. The Steelers also were looking to avenge a 30-9 regular-season loss to the Jaguars in Pittsburgh in October of that season.

Quotable I: "It's hard to beat a team twice in this league, especially when it comes to the playoffs. … That's what I kept trying to tell the guys all week – that we're going to have to earn this win. It will not be easy." —Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell

Quotable II: "To play against a team like – and to win on the road – especially with the environment we were in, was great. People said, 'Well, you're not going to go there and beat them twice.' The Steelers players were talking about how excited they were to face us again. To go and win … awesome. Awesome experience. It was such a special moment for all of us." – Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny

The gist: The AFC South Champion Jaguars took a 21-0 lead against the AFC North Champion Steelers en route to one of the biggest victories in franchise history. They also repeated their 2007 feat of beating the Steelers in Pittsburgh twice in the same season, something no other franchise has accomplished.

Quotable III: "Everybody was saying, 'It's going to be Pittsburgh-New England, it's going to be Pittsburgh-New England in the AFC Championship Game.' I think the team reacted to that. They felt like no one was talking about them. That team played with a big chip on their shoulder. They were going to go out there and prove and do whatever we had to do to walk off that field a winner." – Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone

Big day offensively: The Jaguars won the AFC South in 2017 largely on the strength of a defense that ranked No. 2 in the NFL in total yards. But this was a day for the Jaguars' offense, with rookie running back Leonard Fournette rushing for 109 yards and three touchdowns and quarterback Blake Bortles making big plays at key times to hold off a second-half Steelers rally.

Quotable IV: "Fournette had it going, Blake had it going. The offensive line was physical. You couldn't stop us. We really won that game because of the way the offense played. As good as we were on defense, and we did play good ball at times, that game was won because the offense came to play." – Campbell

Memorable moment: Touchdown runs of one and 18 yards by Fournette gave the Jaguars a 14-0 lead entering the second quarter, then running back T.J. Yeldon's four-yard run pushed the lead to 21-0 early in the second quarter. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw second-quarter touchdown passes of 23 yards to wide receiver Antonio Brown and 36 yards to wide receiver Martavis Bryant, but linebacker Telvin Smith returned fumble forced by a sack by defensive end Yannick Ngakoue on Roethlisberger for a 50-yard touchdown and the Jaguars led 28-14 at halftime.

Quotable V: "Some people might say, '42 points,' but you look at everybody in that locker room. The only thing coming out of people's mouth was, 'Hey, we won the game.' … They scored their points, but we came out on top." – Jaguars defensive tackle Abry Jones

The statistics: Jaguars – Bortles (14-26 passing, 214 yards, one touchdown, zero interceptions), Fournette (25 rushes, 109 yards, three touchdowns), Yeldon (three receptions, 57 yards), Keelan Cole (one reception, 45 yards); Steelers – Roethlisberger (37-58 passing, 469 yards, five touchdowns, one interception), Le'Veon Bell (16 carries, 67 yards, one touchdown), Brown (seven receptions, 132 yards, two touchdowns), Vance McDonald (10 receptions, 112 yards), Bell (nine receptions, 88 yards, one touchdown).

The key series: After Roethlisberger's 43-yard touchdown pass to Brown made it 35-28, Bortles passed 14 yards to fullback Tommy Bohanon to extend the lead to 42-28. Bell's eight-yard touchdown with 2:18 remaining cut the lead back to 42-28, but Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo followed a failed Steelers onside kick with a 45-yard field goal with 1:45 remaining to push the lead to 10. Roethlisberger's fifth touchdown pass of the game came with :01 remaining, and the Jaguars won their first road playoff victory in a decade and advanced to play New England in the AFC Championship Game.

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